E-sports industry expected to grow at 46% CAGR by 2025: EY Report

EY Report 2021

According to the latest EY Report, e-sports is on the rise in India. The industry is expected to grow at 46% CAGR to grow over fourfold from INR 2.5 billion in 2021 to INR 11 billion by 2025.

The e-sports industry is expected to grow at 46% CAGR, from INR 2.5 billion in 2021 to INR 11 billion by 2025. According to ‘Ready. Set. Game ON!’, the EY Report, the industry is estimated to grow fourfold in a span of four years from now. Unlike online gaming, e-sports is defined by online games of skill that are played in tournaments where different teams or individual players compete against each other to win the championship, league, or title like physical sports.

The EY Report: Key Highlights:

The Prize Pool

As per the EY Report, the prize money pool in India is expected to grow at 66% CAGR to reach INR 1 billion. As the Indian e-sports industry grows at a faster pace than the global e-sports industry, India is picking up the pace in growing its prize pool as well. The Indian e-sports prize pool accounts for a meager 0.6% of the global prize pool but is expected to reach almost 2% by 2025. The growth in the prize pool remains one of the most important factors and incentives for attracting new serious players.

Professional Players and Teams

The Report states that as e-sports becomes a viable profession for the youth, the number of players playing them is expected to grow at 78% CAGR by 2025 to reach 1.5 million players and 250,000 teams. The growth will be propelled by the increase in prize money, more games, localization, regional adaptation, and growth of smartphone, laptop, and broadband infrastructure.

In contrast to the west, mobile phones are the preferred choice of device for esports in India with over 90% of e-sports players participating in mobile esports tournaments.

Broadcasters and Audience

Further, as e-sports tournaments grow more competitive, they draw more viewership and support from players and the audience. Presently, there are over 14 esports broadcast platforms, it is expected to cross 20 platforms by 2025. While current viewership is 17 million, by 2025 over 85 million unique viewers will watch esports tournaments in the country, comprising around 10% of global esports viewership.

Economic Impact of E-sports

E-sports will generate a total economic impact of over INR 100 billion in the next four years through investments, direct industry revenues, in-app purchases, and other revenues. Games popularized by e-sports tournaments will generate about INR 14 billion in in-app purchases revenues and the industry is also expected to generate over INR 300 million of ancillary revenue comprising of licensing and merchandising revenue and player salaries revenue by 2025.

Also Read: Report: Global advertising to exceed One Trillion USD in 2026

Creating Employment Opportunities

The e-sports industry is expected to create over 11,000 direct and indirect jobs by 2025, states the EY report. Apart from specializing in gaming skills and game theory, the esports industry will also create opportunities and make way for new income streams in licensing and merchandising player salaries, and event management in the coming years.

Regulatory Support

Countries such USA, China, Germany, South Korea, and Sri Lanka have realized the impact of esports on the economy and have recognized esports as a professional sport, and made policies to harness the potential.

Build India’s soft power

E-sports creates an opportunity to build India’s soft power globally as large-scale organizers such as the Asian Games and the South Asian Games have added esports in their list of official competitions. Olympics too is evaluating adding esports to their competitions.

Ashish Pherwani, Partner and Media & Entertainment Leader, EY India, stated, “Esports in India tells a great growth story. As a game of skill accessible indoors and on the ubiquitous mobile phone, it has gained popularity during the lockdowns witnessed in 2020 and 2021. Consequently, it has become an attractive option for brands to connect with young and empowered audiences.”

You can access the complete report here:


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